Burdash, director of the Wilmington Institute Free Library,
which owns the two-story suburban building, confirmed that there
is a sales agreement under which the church will buy it for
$850,000. The actual property settlement, he said, will take
place in early June.
became known several years ago that the crowded and obsolete
county library housed there would be replaced by the larger and
modern new one, there has been concern about the fate of the
building. Civic activists were strong in opposing its being sold
for commercial use.
said "discussions with the church have been going on for
awhile." That, he said, was in keeping with a stated desire to
have the building take on a use that would be "compatible with
the community." It is believed the Unitarian Universalist
church, which has a growing congregation, will use it for
educational activities. Church officials could not be reached
for comment as this article was being prepared.
church is located in Sharpley, directly behind the library
for the church has been to come up with the money to meet a
price which would meet the Wilmington Institute's fiduciary
obligation to obtain market value or something close to it.
Burdash described the amount agreed upon as a "compromise." He
said his organization did not have any serious discussion with
any other prospective buyer.
the new Brandywine branch apparently replaces the downtown
Wilmington library as the largest in the state, Burdash said he
does not regard it as competition. "The demand for library
services is increasing and that area (Brandywine Hundred)
certainly needs a larger and more up-to-date facility," he said.
He described it as "a beautiful and large building which will
certainly serve the need."
the Wilmington library had considered and rejected the idea of
providing refreshments for reading patrons, one of the prominent
features of the new library. "It's something we'll keep looking
at and we certainly will do whatever it takes" to remain
competitive, he said.